Circus cyaneus 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae

Scientific Name: Circus cyaneus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1766)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Hen Harrier
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Taxonomic Notes:

Circus cyaneus and C. hudsonius (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as C. cyaneus following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-07-26
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Ashpole, J
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). The population trend is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Armenia (Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belgium; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Cambodia; China; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Hong Kong; Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Latvia; Lebanon; Libya; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Myanmar; Nepal; Netherlands; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Canary Is.); Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Tajikistan; Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; Uzbekistan; Viet Nam
Andorra; Bahrain; Iceland; Malaysia; Senegal; Singapore; Sudan; Yemen
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:12300000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):3000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 30,000-54,400 breeding females, which equates to 60,000-109,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 34% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 176,000-321,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. It is placed in the band 100,000 to 499,999 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes. However in Europe the population size is estimated and projected to be decreasing at a rate approaching 30% over the period from 2000, when the decline is estimated to have started in Russia, which holds 70% of the European population, to 2024 (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:100000-499999Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The current main threat is the transformation of habitat owing to intensified agriculture, disappearance of marshes and reafforestation. Persecution is still severe locally, for example on managed grouse moors of Scotland; in 2013 not a single pair successfully nested in England (Pitches 2013), despite the fact that there is estimated habitat for more than 300 pairs (Fielding et al. 2011). The species is also shot illegally in central and eastern Europe (Tucker and Heath 1994). In the Czech Republic, wild boar Sus scrofa may pose a major threat to nesting birds (Kren 2000 in Global Raptor Information Network 2015).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Circus cyaneus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22727733A80213525. . Downloaded on 23 October 2016.
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